The news of working from home brought many cheers among professionals when the first lockdown started in India. It’s been six months now that millions of people are working from home in the country. As a result, work from home has started hurting many as neck and back pain is becoming new normal.
Orthopedic surgeons are witnessing a rise in the number of cases with shoulder pain, neck and back pain, knee pain and other. With prolonged lockdown, many are reaching out to health experts for solutions.
Dr Parag Sancheti, an orthopedic surgeon and MD, Sancheti Institue of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation of Pune, said, "In these pandemic days, it is important to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. We should follow the routine of exercises. Maintaining a correct posture while you are working from home is important. You must do daily stretching for back, knee, and neck."
As the lockdown was an unexpected announcement people started working from home in a less-than-ideal set up consisting of beds, coffee table, clutches, and dining table. With no end soon to this work from home situation, if one does not get the proper office set up at home, it may prove to wreak more havoc on workers with pre-existing neck and back pain problems.
Rupal Sancheti, Director of HealYos, a home-physiotherapy start-up from Pune, said, " When the prolonged lockdown was not expected, many did not have the correct chair or table for work at their home as they used to have in their offices. This has led to impacting their body posture and thereby leading to a rise in neck and back pain related problems. Hence, one should have a correct sitting posture while working from home. To make your sitting comfortable you can add a hard pillow on the chair to support your back. One should get a chair and a table. The arrangement should be made in such a manner that the computer screen should come to the eye level."
Dr Shrinivas Shintre, Professor and Head of Department of Orthopedics, BJ Government Medical College, Pune points out, "If one is having pain for the last two months, it is curable with regular exercises. As the damage is done to the soft tissues, this kind of pain does not become chronic if all the timely precautions are taken. One should follow the correct sitting posture. One can take a pillow underneath their seat. Also, one should not do overeating which will lead to obesity and then knee and back pain-related issues."
Lockdown has led to the closure of gyms leading to disruption of physical activity schedules of many. The doctors are suggesting that people should do regular exercise at home. When this lockdown is for our safety from a disease, it should not invite other diseases like backache, arthritis, etc.
Dr Ajay Kothari, a consultant spine surgeon from Sancheti hospital in Pune informs, "One must exercise for at least one to one and a half hour daily. I suggest that one should include 20 Surya Namaskara, 20 sit-ups, 20 push-ups in a daily exercise schedule. You can even follow Yoga. Asanas like Bhujangasan, Pavan Muktasan, Naukasan give good stretching to neck and back. One must take a break every 45 minutes. Get up from your chair after every 45 minutes, drink water, do some stretching, and again start work. Even doing Tadasana in between your work hours gives a good stretch to your entire body. If you are continuously working for 5 to 6 hours it impacts your neck, back, shoulder, eyes, wrist, etc."